Finland, Sweden Continue Intriguing Response to Russia’s Threats About Joining NATO
Finnish lawmakers are considering potential NATO membership and Sweden is sending military equipment to Ukraine.
The last time we checked in on Finland and Sweden, Russia threatened the two countries with “serious military-political” repercussions if they joined NATO.
While both Sweden and Finland leaders did not seem overly concerned about the threat, the nations have followed up with a more robust response. Just not the one the Russians saught.
Finnish political parties plan to discuss Russia’s attack on Ukraine and Finland’s role in Europe’s new power balance. Membership in NATO will be one of the topics that will be covered.
Finland’s potential NATO membership will also be on the table, Prime Minister Sanna Marin told reporters Monday.
The mood in Helsinki is tense: Finland has Europe’s longest border with Russia at over 1,300 kilometers, but is not a part of the military alliance. The country is a close ally of NATO, but there has been little appetite to join the club — until now.
“It is very understandable that many Finns have changed or are changing their minds after Russia started waging war on Ukraine,” Marin said.
Finns are evaluating “what is the line that Russia has crossed, and what is the line that Russia will not cross … And if Russia does cross some line, do we face it alone or together with others,” Marin said. She did not comment on her personal position on NATO.
The signs for Finland applying for membership look fairly promising.
Finland’s Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, said Tuesday that the mindset of citizens and politicians towards joining the alliance “is changing” following Russia’s assault on Ukraine.
The NATO debate “is in full swing and will certainly intensify,” Marin said, after party leaders met to consider how to respond to a public petition calling for a referendum on NATO membership.
But Marin cautioned against drawing conclusions at this stage.
The petition garnered the 50,000 signatures needed to refer the matter to the parliament in less than a week, and will be considered as part of a wider debate on the Ukraine crisis.
For the first time, a majority (53 percent) of Finns are in favour of joining NATO, according to a poll published Monday by public broadcaster Yle.
That is almost double the number a month ago, when Helsingin Sanomat newspaper put support at just 28 percent.
“(This is) a completely historic and exceptional result,” Charly Salonius-Pasternak of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs told AFP.
Just to put some perspective on the move in Finnish public opinion:
For the first time, 53% of Finns support Finland joining NATO. In 2017, only 19% of Finns supported NATO membership.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 28, 2022
Support for joining NATO is at 41% in Sweden. However, these Swedes are not sitting still. The nation has broken its doctrine not to send arms to active conflicts.
On Sunday, February 27, Sweden announced that it would break its doctrine of not sending arms to countries in active conflict. This comes after the US and allies decided to start sending military equipment to help Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.
Sweden has agreed to send military equipment, including anti-tank launchers, to Ukraine. Sweden will send military aid to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, helmets and body armour, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Sunday.
“Sweden is now proposing direct support for Ukraine’s armed forces. It includes 135,000 field rations, 5,000 helmets, 5,000 body shields and 5,000 anti-tank weapons” Andersson told a news conference.
In a nutshell, it doesn’t appear that Putin is meeting any of his goals or objectives in his campaign against Ukraine.
What Putin has achieved in less than a week:
– Unites the entirety of Europe
– German arming itself
– Sweden and Finland considering joining NATO
– Turkey and Greece have common enemy
– Switzerland no longer neutral
– Tanks Russia's economy
What Putin hasn't achieved:
— MiiyaUwU 🍰🏳️⚧️🔞 (1/5) (@MiiyaUwU_EN) February 28, 2022
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Fine. They join NATO. But will they contribute to share of gross national product that they’re supposed to? There in lies the question.
Or, is that lays the question?
Or, Dat be da question?
Yo, bro! Dat beez it.
No is the answer
At least in the case on Finland, they have been to war with with invading Russia/USSR before and still share a long border with them. I seriously doubt their investment in defense will be a problem. For 2022 thye committed 2% of their GNP to defense, and that was before Putin started invading his neighbors again.
“For the first time, a majority (53 percent) of Finns are in favour of joining NATO…That is almost double the number a month ago”
Well, duh. After the war is over the figures will go back to normal.
If you look at things from the Russian POV, Both Finland and Sweden have invaded Russia in the past. In fact, Sweden invaded Russia twice.
Right or wrong, Putin is trying to protect Russian borders from invasion. Katherine the Great once said, “The only way to protect the Russian border is to expand them.”
“Right or wrong, Putin is trying to protect Russian borders from invasion”
Errr no, they are not
Would a bioweapon attack by the US government be considered an invasion?
Huh? When did Finland invade Russia?
Sweden did invade Russia way back when it was a major military power, but the Russians understand very well that that’s not the case any more. Whom will they claim to be afraid of next — Denmark?!
NATO is a purely defensive alliance, and the Russians know that very well. It is disingenuous for them to claim to be afraid of it. On the contrary, Russia has long been the threat to all of Europe, not the other way around. It’s like Iran or Syria pretending to be afraid of Israel, when everyone knows the easiest way to have peace with Israel is simply not to attack it.
Russia’s pretense of being sensitive and insecure is merely a play to give its puppets and appeasers an excuse to give it everything it wants. If the Russians are really insecure let them see shrinks; it’s not an excuse for conquest or concessions.
Continuation war when the Finns joined the Nazi’s in their invasion of the Soviet Union.
At least that is modern history, and arguably a reconquest of the Soviet invasion a couple years earlier. The Swedish invasion of Russia predates Napoleon and I have no idea why MattMusson would think that has relevance today.
Simply because everybody has invaded Russia at one time or another. The Russians aren’t paranoid without a reason.
A partial list of those who invaded them includes: Sweden, Japan, France, Germany, the Mongols, the British, the USA, the Australians, the Italians, the Greeks, the Estonians, the Serbians and the Romanians.
The Soviet Union invaded Finland in 1939, back when Stalin and Hitler were still buddies. A peace treaty was signed in March of 1940 in which Finland lost 9% of its territory to the USSR.
In 1941 Finland attacked to regain their territory, the Continuation War you mentioned. While this operation was in concert with the German operation Barbarossa, Finland was not a member of the Axis and did not share the German objectives.
Any Russian who only recalls the later and not the former is looking for excuses.
The Swedes also invaded Russia in the 9th century-ish. Those vikings sure did get around!
Those were the Russians! The Rus were Vikings who settled in Kiev and established a kingdom there.
The Finns never invaded the USSR. They did not join the nazis. The nazis joined them in defending themselves from the USSR.
Yes, 300 years ago Sweden invaded Russia….
Meanwhile in the real world we are allied with several nations today we fought over our less than 250 year history.
But I am sure Russians run around yelling “Remember Poltava!”. Oh wait, didn’t Russia invade Finland ONLY 80 years ago?
Viva la Finland!
Four Russian fighters briefly violated Swedish airspace earlier today.
“Two Russian SU27 and two SU24 fighter jets…”
Wouldn’t those be more useful to the Russians in the Ukraine right now? Why are they over-flying Sweden?
It was over water in the Baltic Sea, and there are very narrow corridors where territorial waters meet. That being said, probably not an accident given the number of aircraft involved.
“” it doesn’t appear that Putin isn’t meeting any of his goals or objectives in his campaign against Ukraine.””
I see freezing like that and I start doing canceling. Just like with fractions and mathematics. I think there’s translates to Putin is meeting his goals
Well it’s winter in Ukraine so freezing is also appropriate.
That was my first reaction, but that’s a really weird way of phrasing it, especially since it’s not clear that he’s meeting any of his goals.
What’s with the double negative in the sentence?
I’m checking on this.
Putin wacked the hornet’s nest without proper precautions, now his sorry ass is being stung.
He’s also playing with fire. I wonder if he has a dragon tattoo.
The most America can do towards preventing WW3 is forcing Biden to resign. Creating the momentum for that, should be job #1 right now.
That’s a fine report and anyone who has half a brain in their head would agree. But after sniffing the crack cocaine SOTU last night much of the country is on cloud 9.
I didn’t even know there was an SOTU….are you sure much of the country gave a damn?
It’s not like it interrupts everyone’s broadcast any more. Streaming services have won out.
Think about this:
We are at the brink of WW3 and the ratings say he was down 10 million viewers in 2021 compared to Trump in year prior.
Streaming service hasn’t changed…you could argue the pandemic might have artificially raised his numbers the first year but I bet you they are down further still based on approval polling.
If you are using twitter as a meter, don’t bother. Nobody who tweets that isn’t a fake journalist wastes their time watching an SOTU. They just head to vox or salon to get their curated talking points for tweet clout.
Overnights on SOTU 2022 are 11.7 for networks but that doesn’t include cable or streaming services, so I’m not sure how that compares to last year or the year before.
(SOTU was around 27 total in 2021 and Trump was around 37 in 2020 Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/252425/state-of-the-union-address-viewer-numbers/)
Think about how many people did NOT watch that b.s. The job of waking people up is on us – via the politicans we elect, and the purchases we make or don’t make.
Bottom line: we need to be very disciplined in getting Biden to resign. When Harris becomes the next First Idiot, we’ll need to dump her too.
I doubt that very much… have you been to the gas station or grocery store in the last week?
And land us with President Harris?!
Probably wouldn’t change much. She’s most likely a puppet also, otherwise they wouldn’t have picked her.
At least she’d be less arrogant and openly corrupt as Biden. Between his record of being untouched for his massive corruption and his brain fog, he’s just cruising.
Harris will have a nervous breakdown – for all America to see. We MUST wake up the half of the nation that is sleep-walking us off a cliff.
Well at least we know her method of negotiation, and it involves knee pads and mouthwash.
Which of course was the plan to protect him from the start, A Hobson’s choice between bad and worse.
That is desirable, then how do we get rid of Harris and Pelosi?
Pelosi will be probably be out of the picture at noon on 3 Jan 2023. So we have that going for us.
This situation shows that America should return to energy independence ASAP… Restart the pipelines.
The pipelines bring in oil from Canada?
Pipelines aso distribute throughout America, and what is wrong with Cadian oil?
Nothing except that it conflicts with your excellent idea of establishing American energy independence.
That Canadian oil is worthless without our highly advanced refineries to process it. Plus, if our domestic production gets back up to speed, we get their heavy bitumen at a large discount. After all, where else are they going to send it?
They also bring in oil from the Bakken field in the Dakotas.
Last I heard Canada was in “North” America 😉
Putin cannot afford to attack any other country during his invasion of Ukraine. He can barely afford this one. He doesn’t have the Army resources to face three determined countries. He can throw thousands of soldiers at them but they’ll be barely trained and poorly equipped and will suffer the consequences. Putin does not care a single whit about his soldiers. He has no consideration for them at all and doesn’t care how many of his soldiers die as long as he can achieve his objectives.
Other than special forces though Putin hasn’t committed his ‘best’ units. He’s also kept most of his airforce in reserve.
This may be Russian fear of losing their conventional defence forces, leaving themselves weak to attack, but it also means they have the troops and material to fight on another front.
We know they have the cash, they saved up hundreds of billions in reserves from their sales of gas to Germany.
Russia needs the cash for the dole. Over half of the Russian population is on the dole.
Time to put up or shut up, Finnies.
Join and pay up, you share the longest border with Russia and expect the rest of Europe and the US to take care of this little nuisance for you. No wonder these countries have such high entitlement benefits and their form of “socialism”…they don’t have to do anything at all to fund their own defense.
I spent 2% of the Finnish GNP last weekend on two ribeyes and a fill-up.
The Finns taught the Russians a lesson in 1940, and they’ve hardly bothered them since then. Besides, who wants Karelia anyway?
No, they didn’t. The Finns ended up losing that war, and paying a terrible price. They got to keep their internal freedom, but had to be a Soviet vassal until the USSR fell.
Actually, that was sarcasm, based on a modified quote from a Tom Lehrer song. Speaking of the Germans, “We taught them a lesson in 1918, and they’ve hardly bothered us since then.”
You’re right, I should have recognized the song line. It’s been too long since I last heard it.
Even photographic memories fade with age.
I was surprised to learn that Lehrer is still with us. He’s pushing 94.
Way back when comedians could be funny
“Once the missiles go up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department says Werner Von Braun.”
Tom Lehrer? Man, you are old!
I’m not convinced that further antagonism of Russia is a very good idea. Maybe get through the current situation and see how it plays out before we make permanent decisions about expanding NATO…again.
US does not need to commit another dime to NATO. Germany, UK, Italy, and these freeloading Scandinavians with their high “quality of life” (well no shit…you get to sell oil and fish and live off everyone else’s dime for national defense) need to pony up.
I would prefer to end US participation in NATO entirely in favor of bilateral agreements with individual Nations who actually share our interests.
That said the UK does keep up a strong military so I’m not sure why you are castigating them. You are correct about the Germans though that might be changing.
A threat is always stronger than its execution. Therefore, keeping the issue of Nato membership hanging over Putin’s head is the correct policy.
Sweden or Switzerland abandoning their strict neutrality has been the most shocking thing of the past few days. Hell, the past few months.. years.. decades..
Either of them stopping being neutral is a massive shift in global politics. Both of them at the same time? That’s serious. That has implications it’ll take weeks to even think of, let alone think through.
They are still militaristically neutral and don’t go fight in wars. Geopolitical connection has risen since the last time they really needed to be declared neutral.
They’re still not building up a military presence or helping with defense outside of their own borders. It’s just that global connectivity has changed and they are using policy to chant “shame”.
This is a lot like avoiding paying for health insurance until the doctor points to an X-Ray and says, “See that smudge?”
How about you pay into NATO for 10 years before you get coverage.
Thanks, Neville. Now is precisely the time to welcome them in. We can crush Russia without firing a shot. Shut them off completely from the West. There will be no use of nuclear weapons anywhere by anyone except maybe the Iranians, but Israel has pretty much committed to stopping that. My money’s on Israel.
Most ethnic Russians have roots in Scandinavia, they CAME from Finland and Sweden.
For years Putin had warned that including Ukraine in NATO was a red line for Russia. It should not be difficult to understand his position. It is not unreasonable for Russia to object to the presence of what it perceives to be a hostile military alliance on its border with a country that has historically been either part of Russia or within its sphere of influence. Russia does not want to allow such a threat to its security for similar reasons the United States would not allow Russia to build a military base in Cuba.
In their drive to implement a New World Order, however, Western globalists have been dismissive of Russia’s security concerns. Russia continued its strenuous objections and warned that if they were not taken seriously, they would take the necessary action to keep Ukraine out of NATO. The last time Russia made this clear was in November of last year.
This is how Wikipedia describes this occasion:
“On 30 November 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that an expansion of NATO’s presence in Ukraine, especially the deployment of any long-range missiles capable of striking Russian cities or missile defence systems similar to those in Romania and Poland, would be a “red line” issue for Russia. Putin asked U.S. President Joe Biden for legal guarantees that NATO would not expand eastward or put “weapons systems that threaten us in close vicinity to Russian territory.”
Do you want to know what kind of response Putin received to his legitimate security concerns? It was given by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. This is what he told Putin:
“It’s only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies that decide when Ukraine is ready to join NATO. Russia has no veto, Russia has no say, and Russia has no right to establish a sphere of influence to try to control their neighbors.”
Do you get the insult and the humiliation of this response? Not only did the pompous globalist Stoltenberg refuse to address Russian security fears, but he also implied that pip-squeak countries like North Macedonia, Portugal – who happened to be members of NATO – have a greater say than Russia in whether a large country on its border joins the alliance.
Having ridden roughshod over their populations for nearly two years with their lockdown and vaccine regime, the Western globalists grew arrogant, overbearing, and overconfident. They lost touch with reality and assumed that everyone would submit to their chicanery in the same way that their own docile populations went along with their random edicts and mandates.
Bullshit. This is moral equivalence, which is bullshit. The two sides are not and have never been equivalent. Russia has always been an aggressor and NATO a defender. Throughout the Cold War the USSR held a knife to Europe’s throat, while NATO gripped the arm holding the knife and prevented it from being used.
So no, it is not at all reasonable for Russia to object to NATO’s presence on its border with a country that does not currently belong to it, just because it once controlled that country and has ambitions of doing so again. The USA would rightly object to a Russian military base in Cuba, because it would be a threat to us. Russia has no right to object to a NATO base on its borders, because it would not be a threat to them.
It’s exactly the same as Israel and Iran; an Iranian nuclear bomb would be an existential threat to Israel, which Israel would have to eliminate regardless of the cost, while Israel’s nuclear bombs are no threat to Iran, and Iran has no right to do anything about them.
That’s right, and that was the only response possible to Putin’s demand.
Look, insofar as I have sympathies in this war, they’re more with Russia than with the Ukraine. I think the current anti-Putin and pro-Ukraine propaganda is way over the top and not believable. The Ukranians are not heroes, and Putin is not a monster. But enough with the bullshit. The Ukraine does not belong to Russia, it is not a slave state, and it is none of Russia’s bleeping business what alliances it joins or what else it does. Russia is not entitled to a say in the matter, any more than a woman’s ex-husband, who abused her for years, is entitled to a say in her life post-divorce, even if she’s no angel and has a violent history of her own.
Wether or not Ukraine is hero’s Putin is, absolutely, a monster. He is not by any stretch a good person in any manner or fashion. Are you serious?
“In a nutshell, it doesn’t appear that Putin is meeting any of his goals or objectives in his campaign against Ukraine.”
Maybe Biden was right. Maybe he IS exactly the person to go toe-to-toe with Putin. Provided they can both stop their Brownian “Upper-Class Twit of The Year” perambulation long enough to actually put their toes together.
“toe to toe”
Biden’s stance is his toe to your heel as he comes up from behind to sniff.
Now is the time to join if they do, while Russia is busy dealing with Ukraine. Russia would not be ready to do anything to Finland and/or Sweden in response to NATO membership in the short term, giving them time to position NATO forces as a deterrent.